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tv   Way Too Early With Willie Geist  MSNBC  January 18, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EST

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what are the day long protests across the web all about? it is way too early for this. good morning. i'm willie geist. this is way too early, the show that in the spirit of newt gingrich's bold idea believes all the other morning shows should drop out and fall in line behind us. i'm glad you're up with us this morning, watching on msnbc or listening live on sirius xm radio. shoot me an e-mail this morning or tweet me. let me know what you're doing up at this hour. or do what tony la russa does and text the word awake followed by response to 622639. the next 30 minutes will be your cram session for this wednesday, january 18th, a lot going on today including nancy pelosi's assessment of the b-team republicans she says are running for president. plus, more fun with super pacs from stewart and colbert.
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that clip later in the show. first, let's get to the news live at 5:30 a.m. here at 30 rock in new york city. with the south carolina primary three days away, mitt romney is trying to hold on to his front-runner status in the state amid sharpening attacks over his wealth and tax records. after days of prodding, the former massachusetts governor who is worth an estimated $250 million, revealed he's paying a lower tax rate than most middle class americans. >> what is the effective rate i've been playing? probably closer to the 15% rate than anything because my last ten years i've -- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past ratherage th than ordinary inco. i get a little income from my book but i gave that all away. and then git speakers fees from time to time, but not very much. >> that 15% capital gains tax rate romney has been paying is less than half the top rate that the country's highest earners pay.
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many of them most famously billionaire warren buffett pay mostly capital gains as well. 15% is about 5% below what the average american household pays in all federal taxes. after being challenged at m monday's debate, he said he would release his 2011 tax return this april, but not the six previous years as president obama did as a candidate in 2008. it is not just republican opponents hammering romney, it is the white house. here is jay carney yesterday. >> president george w. bush, president clinton, nominees for each party, for years and years and years, i think going back to 1976 this has been a very standard tradition. and obviously we think it is a good tradition and that's why then senator obama released his tax records going back i think six or seven years when he was a candidate for president in the 2008 election cycle. and i believe -- just -- i think it was a tradition initiated by then presidential candidate george romney back in 1968 who
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released 12 years of tax records in '68 as i understand it. >> romney's disclosure was red meat for newt gingrich who has been pushing for a 15% flat tax. the former house speaker suggested his plan should be renamed in romney's honor. >> well, first of all, you got to release your taxes and find out if the amount was really 15%. and second, i think that we ought to rename our flat tax. we have a 15% flat tax. so this will be the mitt romney flat tax that all americans could pay the rate that romney paid. that's terrific. >> as romney fight his rich guy image on the campaign trail, his critics continue to look at his tenure at bain capital. that line of attack may have become more complicated for democrats and for the white house. president obama yesterday announced jeffrey zients, a former bain employee will take over as acting director of the house of management and budget, omb. the white house emphasized his
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20 years of experience in management but did not mention his work with bain in the release. he worked there for just under two years. and a programming note, new jersey governor romney's surrogate chris christie will join us live on "morning joe" for more on the republican race. "morning joe" coming up at the top of the hour. as romney continues to dominate the latest south carolina polls, new numbers show the former massachusetts governor also leading big and the upcoming primary state of florida. according to public policy polling, romney topped the field with 41% support. that's a 24-point jump from the end of november. newt gingrich in second despite a 21-point drop in that same period. rick santorum's in third, followed by ron paul, still in the margin of error of santorum there. in an effort to make it a one on one fight, gingrich is suggesting that rick perry and santorum should consider stepping aside to unite the conservative vote. santorum, however, says he will not be bullied into dropping out of the race.
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>> if you look at the polling, i'm the only conservative who realistically has the chance to be the nominee. any vote for santorum or perry in effect is a vote to allow romney to become the nominee. we have got to bring conservatives together in order to stop him. if you consolidate the three conservative candidates, we clearly would have a huge margin over romney and the challenge to me is to convince conservatives to come home and have a single candidate on saturday. >> let me see who finished ahead of who in iowa? that would be me. new hampshire, let me see, oh, yeah, i finished fourth, ahead of congressman gingrich, who finished fifth, even though he had the manchester lead the endorsement, spent millions of dollars in new hampshire and i campaigned for five days and spent $25,000. i think it is an enormous amount of hubris for a person who lost the first two races who a couple of polls now have him ahead of
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me that everybody should step aside and let him, who hasn't won -- who hasn't defeat me in two of the elections so far to let him, you know, have a wide berth. i wouldn't be so arrogant as to suggest that anybody get out of this race and i won't suggest that anybody gets out of this race. these are character issues. >> sounds to me like santorum is not going to follow gingrich's plan. nancy pelosi, meanwhile, trying to capitalize on mixed feelings within the republican party about this field. arguing the party is not rallying around romney because voters don't think he can beat president obama. >> so-called right wing of the republican party, describing evangelical and others are not supporting romney, at least not yet, because they don't think he's going to win. so they're, like, why should we compromise who we are. let's be for who we want to be and get ready for four years from now. if the far right thought that
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romney could win, they might be more enthusiastic about him. but they don't share -- they question what he stands for and they don't think he's going to win, so what, you know, what is the sell? >> leader pelosi speaking at a political event with mike gallon. you'll be glad to know sarah palin is weighing in on the republican field, praising newt gingrich and taking a swipe at mitt romney. >> if i had to vote in south carolina, in order to keep this thing going, i would vote for newt and i would want this to continue more debates, more vetting of candidates because we know the mistake made in our country four years ago was having a candidate that was not vetted to the degree that he should have been so we know -- knew his associations and his pals represented and what went into his thinking, the shaping of who our president today is. that vetting did not take place. i want to see that taking place this time because america is on
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that precipice. it is that important. we need this process to continue. >> sarah palin on the republican race. way too early will be live tomorrow and friday morning at the mills' house in charleston, south carolina. drop by or tune in with us at 5:30 a.m. eastern. two shows, tomorrow and friday. the search for survivors off the coast of italy is on hold now as high seas continue to shift the crippled cruise liner that ran aground on friday. the ship's captain is under house arrest accused of manslaughter and abandoning his vessel. officials say he left thousands of panicked passengers to fend for themselves. so far 11 people are confirmed dead. more than twice that number still missing and soon to be presumed dead. the captain says he did not do anything wrong, but there is some new audio recording, amazing stuff that suggests he was already safely in a lifeboat as the ship and its victims were
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sinking in that freezing water. nbc's michelle kosinski has the story. >> reporter: a loud blast midday was not an accident. but the fastest way inside the concordia's hull. this video was shot by divers, urge endly making their way through holes they punched. then, deep inside, the murky silence that friday night was the start of a vacation. they hammer their way through the dim maze of rooms, under 30 feet of water at times, searching for victims. they found them, four men and a woman, beneath the water, all wearing life vests. the number of missing still more than 20, including jerry and r barbara hooil from minnesota. as the search continued, the captain was in court, charged with manslaughter, causing the wreck, abandoning ship, which an
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audio recording now reveals. in a heated phone conversation from off the ship friday night, a few hours after the accident, with furious port authority captain defalco. >> schettino gives several reasons why he says he's staying put near the ship, quote, coordinating. >> schettino claims he's going. but prosecutors say he never did return. even as passengers fought to escape that stricken ship. >> nbc's michelle kosinski
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reporting this is still front page news around the country. in new york, you can count on "the new york post," here is their headline, a picture of the captain calling him the chicken of the sea. another story for you this morning. one of the internet's most visited sites is off line to protest anti-piracy laws. the site is one of several to push back against legislation. opponents argue the bill would allow the justice department to shut down portions of the internet and to restrict free speech. the classified listing site craigslist is shut down today along with the technology blog boing boing and the social news website red. google is still up and running but the site blacked out the logo with a mess angaage to con that reads, quote, please don't
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censor the web. jerry yang will leave the company he created during the '90s dotcom bubble. it comes days after microsoft's bing overtook yahoo! as the second most popular search engine on the web. both still trailing google. let's look at the markets as we get all up in your business this morning. jeff cutmore is live in london. good morning. >> good morning to you. that is a great story, isn't it? many people are asking what is yahoo!'s reason for existing now when you've got google and facebook, as strong as they both are, in this web space. jerry yang goes with people thinking back to the time when he was ceo previously and microsoft slapped a $45 billion offer for the business on the table. he took a lot of criticism at the time for that. second time around, of course, people are saying he has not got the magic formula for turning this business around. that's why the shares traded up on his departure.
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that's a testament to how the investors felt about the way he was managing the business. back to you. >> the lead sentence in "the wall street journal," jerry yang rode yahoo!'s swift rise and subsequent decline over 17 years. thanks so much. still ahead on "way too early," it used to rain in seattle, but they ain't used too this. bill karins has a look at the historic snowstorm that is now settling in over the great northwest. plus, jon stewart and stephen colbert go out of their way to let the world know they are not coordinating on the super pac that supports candidate colbert. that clip and a look at the full forecast with karins when "way too early" comes back.
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beautiful live picture of times square at 5:47. let's get a check on your weather from msnbc meteorologist bill karins. how are they doing in seattle? >> i think the kids will be disappointed. >> what? >> no snow day. school is already canceled. flights are already canceled. the problem is the heavy snow stayed to the south of seattle. forecast is much lower now. that's kind of the bottom line with this storm. still a big, huge storm. the heavy snows have been forecasted a little further to the south, tacoma, all the way through olympia, portland has gotten snow. seattle, maybe yesterday we were saying possibly nine inches. now we're calling for maybe 2 to
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4. still going to inconvenience but not like an epic historic storm. we're going to get heavy 2 to 3 feet in the mountains. all of the ski areas will get a lot of fresh powder. it is still going to be a big storm, but not for downtown seattle. as far as the east goes, crazy winds out there, syracuse, 105-mile-per-hour wind gusts on the top of the carrier dome, the dome where they play the basketball and football games in syracuse. no damage reported. still very windy across new england out ther»i4wtoday. and it is going to be -- going to get colder aszvi;&8kz# day
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a little bit nervous. >> i'm worried about getting my wife a bat, though. if i mess up -- >> i'll take my bat. >> albert pujols was not there. apparently since he now plays in
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anaheim, neither was tony la russa. he retired after the cardinal s won the world series. in a sport where a high scoring game may be 3-2, 2-1, roger finley who plays for nottingham forest, missing a wide open goal against a rival team. the ball comes right to him, he manages to shank it over the cross bar in the team's 4-0 loss. no idea why we showed you that. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," south carolina gets interesting. romney confesses he pays only a 15% tax rate. newt gingrich orders rick santorum and rick perry to get in line behind his candidacy. we'll bat all that around with our "morning joe" crew in a few minutes. and we'll watch jon stewart and stephen colbert having more good times with that super pac of theirs. it seems like for every anti-aging problem,
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i got a little bit of income from my book, but i gave that all away. and then i get speakers fees from time to time, but not very much. >> that's mitt romney yesterday in south carolina when pressed on where his recent paychecks have been coming from. romney says the speaking circuit was not a big moneymaker. you heard him say it right there. the records show he earned more
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than $374,000 in paid appearances from 2010 to 2011. according to "the new york times" who dug into the numbers, that breaks down to an average of 4,592 bucks per speech. the average income per person in south carolina is $33,163 per year, $8400 less than his average speaking fee for an hour's work. only five states have a lower average income per person than south carolina. let's huddle up around the water cooler to watch jon stewart and stephen colbert continue their long satirical takedown of the super pac system. here they are last night. >> i feel like i'm going to call the lawyer for my super pac. >> not before i call my lawyer
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for the exploratory committee. >> who should we call first? >> well, since they are the same person, why don't we call at the same time. >> i'm sitie in sitting here wi stewart. >> but don't worry, we're not coordinating. i don't know if i'm doing the right thing with this super pac money, trevor. can i just tell stephen what i've done with it? >> yes. >> so just speak up if we cross the line. >> will do. >> okay. >> last weekend i bought five 50 second ad slots. >> charleston's news leader. okay. >> $3600 and in it i accused mitt romney of being a serial killer. um, is that okay, stephen? >> i cannot coordinate with you in any way. >> another ad in south carolina, a total production cost of $15,000 equating a vote for herman cain is a vote for
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stephen colbert, any thoughts an that, stephen? >> i cannot coordinate with you in any way. and i haven't seen the ad, but when i watched it, i thought that the final shot of a handsome man smiling could have been a little bit longer. >> trevor, i think we lost him, are you still there? >> yes, i am. >> holy [ bleep ]. this is still legal? >> it should be okay so far. nobody i can think of has gone to jail solely for coordinating, so that should make you feel better. you might get fined. >> fined? how much? >> well, 4 to 6 figures. >> 4 to 6 figures, where am i going to get that kind of -- no. if i get fined, could i pay that with super pac money? >> yes, probably.
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>> this is awesome! >> that, my friends, is satire. still ahead on "way too early," while you're awake, your life affirming texts and tweets are next. and "morning joe" live this morning from washington, d.c., just moments away. [ male announcer ] a raw nose can feel really sore. achoo! [ male announcer ] and common tissue can make it burn even more. puffs plus lotion is more soothing than common tissue, and it delivers our most soothing lotion for every nose issue. dave. -hey, dave. -hey, dave. hey. -hey, dave. -mr. dave. -dave. -what's up, dave? -dave. -dave. dave. dave. dave? hi, dave. oh, dave's looking for you. hey, dave. yo, dave! [ male announcer ] in a small business, it's all you. that's why you have us. at staples, we have low prices on everything your small business needs. staples. that was easy.
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